Jodhpur : A Quick Guide to Blue City & Sun City of India
Jodhpur or ‘Sun City’ is situated in the desert state of Rajasthan and dates back to the 1400s. The city formerly called Marwar derives its name from its founder called Rao Jodha. Tourists from world over throng this city all year round to see famous palaces and forts. Most of these ancient palaces are walled in and this is called ‘Old City’. The place outside the wall is called ‘New City’.
The people here are colorfully dressed depicting the mirror art work and vibrant colors Jodhpur is famous for. It is a shopping haven for shopaholics too. Several fairs are held where anything from tiny artifacts to useful leather goods or fabric etc. is available. The city does not leave out spirituality as there are several religious temples and mandirs to visit on your trip to Jodhpur.
Jodhpur is a mesmerizing tourist spot which is sweltering hot and sunny throughout the year (that’s why it’s called ‘Sun City’. Though being in a desert it houses three beautiful lakes. The city is home to several world renowned tourist destinations few of which are World Heritage Sites. The massive Mehrangarh Fort the beautiful Umaid Bhavan & Jaswant Thada are the wonders you cannot miss.
5 Best Places to Visit in Jodhpur
1. Mehrangarh Fort
This breathtaking fort stands 150 meters over sea level. The walled in fort has several galleries, large courtyards, beautiful gardens to visit, and forts within the fort. Dating back to 1400s the Mehrangarh Fort has scars and marks over the walls to remember history. You can wander around a great deal. There are other charges for cameras, entry fee so on and a personal guide too.
2. Umaid Bhavan Palace
It derives its name from its founder Maharaja Umaid Singh and is presently a hotel. The Royal family still lives in a portion of the pink/ white exterior spread over 90,000 m2. It is also made from ‘Chittar’ – a special sandstone and interiors include Ramayana murals, Throne Room, Billiards, swimming pool, exquisite library & marble squash courts. The highlight is its cupola Central Rotunda that rises to 105 ft up.
3. Mandore Gardens
Set on a rocky hill amidst a picturesque landscaped lush, this is a haven for historians and archeologists. These historical structures of Marwar reign will take you back in history. Its beautifully carved temple like rooftops, statues of Kings of Rajput & deities, all in the Hall of Heroes. Tourists and photographers will love the rock sculptures and distinctive cenotaphs.
4. Jaswant Thada
This memorial of Maharaja Jaswanth Singh II was built by his offspring Maharaja Sardar Singh. This intricately carved pure marble with father’s cenotaph is an amazing sight as it reflects the sunrise with a golden glow. The delicate ‘jali’ work on the thin marble showcases the sculptors’ exquisite talent. The trip is an enjoyable trek through a rocky hilly terrain to the main memorial resembling a temple.
5. Ossian Temples
This magnificent well preserved temple town is sculpted from precious stone dating back to ancient eighth & ninth century. As you gaze at its magnificent gateways it will leave you speechless. The highlight of the glorious Ossian temples is the architecture and design of the desert township. There are fifteen popular temples with Sun Temple being the most famous of them all.
Why Jodhpur is Famous?
International and domestic tourists throng this famous colorful city all year round. With picturesque attractions like Ghanta Ghar, Jaswant Thada, Umaid Bhavan Palace & still lakes it is a photographer’s paradise. Founded by Jodha Rao and ruled by the Marwars these people can be seen adorned in vibrant colors from head to toe. While the ladies wear colorful saris with mirrors & sequins built into the fabric the men too wear colorful turbans & traditional attire.
Major Attractions Boast of Jodhpur’s Rich History
One of the densely populated cities of the desert state of Rajasthan called Jodhpur is famously known by two other names – ‘Blue City & ‘Sun City’. This city which is set on the borders of the world famous Thar Desert is hot & sunny all year round. This is why this city with several ancient forts that tell of its rich history is also called ‘Sun City’. One of the most favorite tourist hotspot Mehrangarh Fort stands on a rock 400 m above sea level. Buildings inside this walled in fort are blue (though interiors are colorful). That is why it is also known as ‘Blue City’.
Jodhpur, a Shopaholic’s Haven
There are colorful festivals where everybody participates with fervor. Not to mention the artifacts, pottery, semi- precious stones, leather goods etc. the list is lengthy. With fairs held at certain times in the year, this stuff is plenty so you can shop till you drop.
Lip – Smacking Sweets & Spicy Snacks
There are famous sweets that have made their way into all corners of the country that originated here. Some of them are barfi, gulab jamun, malpua, laddu, lassi, etc. There are spicy dishes to snack on when you’re tired. These include mirchi vada, gatte ki sabzi, etc.
Shopping in Jodhpur
After seeing the breathtaking sites Jodhpur is famous for your trip is still incomplete. Unless you shop around the colorful markets to find the famous products of the city your trip is incomplete. Most of these markets are also located close to the most famous tourist attractions. So know more about the shopaholic – hotspots to plan your shopping in advance as you go sightseeing.
Palace Market: As you walk along Umaid Palace and Ajit Bhawan, check out designer metal works including copper & brass ware, silver jewellery, finest marbles, sequined & beaded or mirrored handicrafts, blue pottery & antiques, and puppets.
Ghanta Garh: Meaning Clock Tower Market this busy marketplace is famous for fine range of eatables like Mathaniya’s red chilies, flavored tea, Makhania Lassi, Shahi Samosa. Shop around for exquisite antiques & hand embroidery fabrics.
Sojati Gate Market: This is most famous place to shop Rajasthani handicrafts, tie and dye prints, jewellery, souvenirs.
Nai Sarak: This is a busy place to pick up bandhej or bandhani (tye & dye) fabric which make great gifts for loved ones/ friends.
Kaapra Bazaar: This ‘Clothes Market’ is famous for original Leheriya as it originated in Jodhpur & Bandhej patterns on fabrics like cotton, silk, and chiffons.
Mochi Bazaar: Meaning ‘Cobbler Market’, there are stacks of colorful Jodhpuri Juttis or Mojaris, lac bangles & junk jewellery.
Sarafa Bazaar: This is famous for traditional & silver jewellery, home decorative like photo frames & trinkets, and fabrics like bandhani and leheriya.
Tripolia Bazaar: This is the choicest place to pick artifacts & handicrafts made of wood and marble including pottery. Shop reasonably priced silver ware and other metal furniture, brass ware, etc.
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How to Reach Jodhpur
One of the busiest tourist spots in the country is well connected to major cities. Reaching Jodhpur is not a problem as there are well connected airlines, railways and roadways. The world famous luxury train Palace on Wheels passes through this picturesque sandy haven to pay a visit to the ancient palaces where the Kings of Marwar ruled.
By Air: There is an Airport in Jodhpur known as Jodhpur Airport with daily airplanes plying to the major cities in India like Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta, Bangalore, Cochin, Hyderabad, etc.
By Rail: There are well connected railway networks running through this famous ‘Sun City’ connecting to all major cities in India. Famous express trains ply, the significant one a superfast express by the name Jodhpur Express. The world famous Palace on Wheels Luxury Train stops by at Jodhpur as this is one of the breathtaking tourist destinations in India.
By Road: There are well connected roadways with a popular highway being the Jodhpur – Jaisalmer via Agoli & Pokaran. It connects to major cities with bus services to major cities like Delhi, Agra, Ajmer, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, etc.
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Getting Around Jodhpur
Various modes of transport are there to tour the city within Jodhpur. Like most tourist destinations Taxis and Auto -rickshaws are always an option. However there are interesting ways to get around – by bicycles and Tongas too & the Luxurious way of sightseeing Jaipur, the Royal Palace on Wheels.
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